February 24, 2022 | News Article

Institute for Nonprofit Practice Expands Award-winning Programming to Western New York


Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation, The John R. Oishei Foundation, and KeyBank Foundation Invest to Support Local Social Impact Leadership Development

February 24, 2022, Boston, MA — The Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP), which works to transform the social impact sector to be more effective, equitable, diverse, and connected, announced the expansion of its award-winning programming to Western New York state today, alongside a collaborative of funders including the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation, which made the lead gift for this initiative, and The John R. Oishei Foundation and KeyBank Foundation.

Set to launch in Western New York in fall 2022, INP is a capacity building organization that offers a suite of resources — including equity-focused management and leadership development, community convenings, an expansive network of leaders, and robust alumni programming — all designed to build upon the knowledge, financial, and social capital of leaders who want to lead transformative work effectively. Expansion to Western New York adds to existing INP sites in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast.

“We are thrilled to launch INP in Western New York and contribute to the region’s vibrant social impact sector,” said INP President and CEO Yolanda Coentro. “Nonprofit and philanthropic leaders in Western New York expressed a need for INP’s unique offerings which can ensure that social sector leaders at all career levels have access to capacity building support and diverse professional connections to realize their organizations’ missions. We are deeply grateful to our partners at the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation, The Oishei Foundation, and KeyBank Foundation, for sharing our commitment to investing in leaders providing critical services to communities and making our launch possible.”

Local community leaders have advised INP’s launch in Western New York, helping to identify regional talent to serve as faculty members, and inform areas where its curriculum can adapt to reflect local context and address unique community needs. INP’s Western New York Launch Committee members include former Region CEO of the Red Cross Nancy Blaschak, Commissioner of Erie County Department of Social Services Marie Cannon, Executive Director of the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation Tracy Sawicki, Director of the Western New York Nonprofit Support Group Katie Pieri, former Vice President of Philanthropic Support at the Oishei Foundation Karen Lee Spaulding, Community Outreach and Advocacy Manager at United Way of Buffalo and Erie County Jerome Singletary, and Executive Director of Heart of the City Neighborhoods Stephanie Simeon.

The launch will include INP’s Core Certificate Program which equips senior level leaders across the nonprofit and public sectors with the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to make strategic, mission-driven decisions that center diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to build high performing organizations, effecting lasting change in their communities and beyond. Over time, INP will expand its offerings in the region to include programming for early and mid-career leaders.

The inaugural Core Program cohort will be composed of 24 senior level leaders across the social impact sector in Erie and Niagara counties — selected from candidates leading on a variety of issues including education, healthcare, poverty, environmental justice, and more. Those selected will join INP’s active network of over 3,000 alumni across the country. Over the course of nine months, participants will learn, share, and leverage strategies to realize their leadership potential, building on strengths to elevate their organizational and community impact. Applications are currently open for the Core Certificate Program in Buffalo and interested candidates can apply here.

Tracy Sawicki, Executive Director of the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation which made the lead gift of $900,000, said “The Tower Foundation has partnered with INP for close to 15 years and we’ve witnessed firsthand its unique value-add in building a more effective, connected, and diverse social impact sector. As COVID-19’s impact on the workforce continues to unfold, threatening the sustainability of community organizations and employee retention, it is more critical than ever that we come together as a funding community to support social impact leaders and organizational capacity. INP promises to offer highly impactful programming in Western New York that merits the investment of anyone who prioritizes truly equitable leadership, and we are proud to partner with The John R. Oishei Foundation and KeyBank Foundation in this effort. We look forward to welcoming partners into our funding collaborative in the future.”

In addition to the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation, partners also include the Oishei Foundation and KeyBank Foundation, which gave $200,000 and $150,000 respectively to bring INP’s resources and programming to Western New York. INP invites all who may be interested in learning more about supporting their growth in Western New York to contact Stacey Harris, Vice President of National Expansion, at sharris@nonprofitpractice.org.

Senior Vice President of Programs at the Oishei Foundation Lawrence H. Cook II said “Adding more resources and support for our nonprofit community aligns with the Oishei Foundation’s ‘beyond grantmaking’ focus. We are delighted to welcome INP to the area and we are confident that this initiative will further fuel the local nonprofit ecosystem with a diverse network of resources and programming, helping to create a more equitable future for all.”

Elizabeth Gurney, Director of Corporate Philanthropy at KeyBank, said “We are proud to serve as a catalyst to bring the Institute for Nonprofit Practice’s transformational leadership development to Western New York. KeyBank Foundation’s funding partnership with INP promises to prepare social impact leaders in the communities where we live and work for thriving futures of profound impact.”

About the Institute for Nonprofit Practice

The Institute for Nonprofit Practice works to ensure that social impact leaders have the skills, knowledge, networks, resources, and confidence to lead effective, innovative, and sustainable organizations, advance justice, and build a more equitable future for all. Through award-winning programs, the Institute trains executives, managers, and emerging leaders across the country. Central to the Institute’s work is a focus on social justice and supporting women and people of color to step into leadership roles of greater influence; the majority of the Institute’s students and alumni identify as BIPOC, and over 60% are women. For more information, visit nonprofitpractice.org or follow @InstituteNP.

For press inquiries, please contact media@nonprofitpractice.org.

Join Our Mailing List

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.